Bill Gates Announces Billions for Next-Gen Nuclear Plant in Wyoming to Address US Energy Demand

By Madz Dizon

Jun 17, 2024 04:39 AM EDT

Bill Gates Announces Billions for Next-Gen Nuclear Plant in Wyoming to Address US Energy Demand
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 13: Microsoft founder Bill Gates leaves the closed-door "AI Insight Forum" outside the Kennedy Caucus Room in the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill on September 13, 2023 in Washington, DC. Lawmakers are seeking input from business leaders in the artificial intelligence sector, and some of their most ardent opponents, for writing legislation governing the rapidly evolving technology.
(Photo : Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

During a recent interview, Bill Gates expressed his confidence in the future of a next-generation nuclear power project, regardless of the political landscape in Washington. 

Bill Gates' TerraPower Starts Innovative Nuclear Plant in Wyoming

A groundbreaking project led by Gates and his energy company TerraPower recently commenced in Kemmerer, Wyoming. 

In March, the company submitted an application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for a construction permit for an advanced nuclear reactor that utilizes sodium.

The project is progressing well and is expected to begin generating power by 2030. 

This endeavor is significant as it represents the company's first attempt in many years to establish these reactors for commercial power in the United States, CBS News reported. 

Nuclear power operates without emitting greenhouse gasses that contribute to climate change. 

The new plant is located next to the Naughton Power Plant, which is scheduled to cease coal burning in 2026 and transition away from natural gas ten years later, as reported by The Associated Press.

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TerraPower Rejects Russian Fuel for US Nuclear Plant

The TerraPower plant, with support from the US Department of Energy, was originally projected to become operational in 2028. 

However, during his appearance on CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS, Gates expressed his disapproval of relying on fuel from Russia, deeming it unacceptable.

The reactor design utilizes liquid sodium as a coolant instead of water and incorporates molten salt for heat storage, enhancing its output. According to Gates, TerraPower intends to obtain reactor fuel from the United States and its allies.

According to Bloomberg, Carbon-free nuclear power is gaining recognition as an essential component in the battle against climate change, with many companies advocating for using smaller reactors.

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